Where Does Cholesterol Come From
The liver is responsible for managing the levels of LDL in the body. It manufactures and secretes LDL into the bloodstream. There are receptors on liver cells that can “monitor” and try to adjust the LDL levels. However, if there are fewer liver cells or if they do not function effectively, the LDL level may rise.
Diet and genetics both play a factor in a person’s cholesterol levels. There may be a genetic predisposition for familial hypercholesterolemia where the number of liver receptor cells is low and LDL levels rise causing the potential for atherosclerotic heart disease at a younger age.
In the diet, cholesterol comes from saturated fats that are found in meats, eggs, and dairy products. Excess intake can cause LDL levels in the blood to rise. Some vegetable oils made from coconut, palm, and cocoa are also high in saturated fats.
The goal is to have patients modify lifestyle and diet to maintain cholesterol levels within the normal range. It is important to remember that HDL may protect a patient from heart disease and it may be a treatment goal to raise a too low level of HDL.
Types Of Cholesterol And How They Work In Your Body
Cholesterol is carried through the circulatory system on two lipoproteins: high-density lipoproteins , often referred to as good cholesterol, and low-density lipoproteins , also called bad cholesterol.
LDL is termed bad cholesterol because when there is too much of it circulating in the blood , it can eventually build up in the form of plaque on the walls of your arteries. This is called atherosclerosis. Over time, this narrows the arteries and raises the risk for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease, notes the AHA.
A high level of triglycerides the most common type of fat in your body can also lead to fatty buildups in your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, if combined with high LDL or low HDL cholesterol levels, per the AHA.
Can Bad Cholesterol Levels Be Too Low Can Good Cholesterol Levels Be Too High
It isnt often that people have bad cholesterol that is too low or good cholesterol that is too high. There are studies being done that suggest that extremes of any kind are not healthy for everyone.
However, there is data from clinical trials to support that there is no evidence of harm when LDLs remain < 40mg/dl on statin therapy.
In some cases, genetic conditions can cause you to have very low cholesterol levels. In other cases, nutritional problems, some cancers, hypothyroidism and certain infections can also cause low cholesterol levels. In any of these types of situations, the underlying issues need to be addressed.
In terms of having too much of a good thing, researchers are studying the effects of too much HDL, the good cholesterol. No conclusions have been reached, but there have been studies into the possible relationship between high HDL and cancer, and a greater risk of heart attack among the high risk. Excessively high HDL may be dysfunctional HDL and not protective.
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Firstly What Is Cholesterol
Cholesterol is an essential type of fat that’s carried in the blood.
All cells in the body need cholesterol it’s an essential part of cell walls in our bodies and has important roles, including to produce some hormones, maintain healthy nerve cells and in the synthesis of vitamin D.
Your body needs a small amount of cholesterol to function, but an imbalance between different types of cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of heart disease, one of the leading chronic diseases in Australia today.
About ¾ of the cholesterol in your body is made in the liver and a small amount may come from the food you eat. Various factors affect blood cholesterol levels including your diet and lifestyle, body weight and genes.
How To Lower Cholesterol: Low
Low-carbohydrate diets may help improve HDL cholesterol levels. The National Institutes of Health conducted a study that found while both low-fat and low-carb dieters lost weight over the two-year study period, low-carb dieters also improved their HDL cholesterol levels. The problem with low-carb diets is that they may be difficult to adhere to. Consult your doctor about the best healthy eating plan to manage your cholesterol.
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A Faster & Easer Solution For Healthier Cholesterol Levels
There are a few ways for promoting healthier cholesterol levels within a normal, youthful range – diet and exercise being two important factors.
Unfortunately, they take time and most people are either NOT patient or need faster results, with less effort…
This is the exact problem I ran into with my own parents.
Because of this, I needed to find a simple, easy and fast solution for promoting healthier lipid levels in less than 30 days, without the use of harmful prescription drugs, worthless supplements or following a restrictive diet.
If this is something you’re also interested in, you can easily copy this “proven formula”, implement it and start seeing and feeling results within days…
Does Your Total Cholesterol Number Even Matter
As one of the most ordered lab tests, total cholesterol can provide a high level glance at how your body is handling lipids, or fats. According to the CDC, roughly nine percent of all doctors visits include a cholesterol test.1 So, how should you interpret your total cholesterol value? Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts?
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Further Information And Support
For assessment and treatment of high cholesterol levels see a doctor. For ideas about how to lower high cholesterol levels a doctor or dietitian can assist.
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
A blood test, specifically a lipid panel or lipid profile, will show your total cholesterol levels.
The measured total cholesterol level is made up of your LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and 20% of triglycerides .
For an accurate reading, you should not eat or drink anything between nine and twelve hours before the sample is taken.
In Australia, cholesterol levels are measured in millimoles per litre .
The range below is a guide for a healthy blood cholesterol level.
- Total cholesterol should be between: 3.9 5.5 mmol/L
- HDL should be between: 0.9 2.1 mmol/L
- LDL should be between: 1.7-3.5 mmol/L
- Triglycerides should be between: 0.5 1.7 mmol/L
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Normal Cholesterol Levels By Age
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that plays many roles in the body, including synthesizing hormones and vitamin D. It also assists in the transporting of lipids. Cholesterol is found in the foods you eat, but it is also made by the liver.
We need some cholesterol to build healthy cells, but an accumulation of the bad kind can be problematic, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis. The recommended ranges for your cholesterol will depend on your age. Find out what cholesterol levels are, why age is a factor, and how to keep your levels within a healthy range.
Verywell / Jessica Olah
How Do You Prepare For A Cholesterol Test
In most cases, youll need to fast for nine to 12 hours before the test. Make sure you tell the person drawing your blood how long it has been since you ate or drank anything that wasnt water.
There are some cases when a cholesterol test is done without fasting. This is true for tests done at health screenings and may be true for people younger than 20 or for people who are unable to fast.
Some medical societies believe that fasting is not necessary to get a true picture of lipid levels in the blood, while other associations stand by the belief that fasting gives a better idea of a persons heart disease risk. You should be clear on whether or not you need to fast, and for how long, before you go for the blood test.
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How Often To Get Tested
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , most healthy adults should get their cholesterol checked every four to six years.
Your risk factors also determine how often your cholesterol should be checked. Adults who have a history of high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity need more frequent readings, as do all adults as they age.
Children should have their cholesterol checked at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 and again between 17 and 20 years of age. If a child has a family history of high cholesterol, heart disease, or is overweight or obese, their pediatrician may recommend getting checked sooner and more often.
What Types Of Cholesterol Are There
There are two different types of cholesterol including:
- “Bad Cholesterol” which carry cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL cholesterol is bad because it builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow which can increase the risk of a heart attack.
- “Good Cholesterol” which picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to the liver. Having high HDL is linked to lower risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
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A More Accurate Measurement Tool
The traditional Friedewald equation estimates LDL cholesterol this way: total cholesterol minus HDL cholesterol minus triglycerides divided by five. For simplicitys sake, the formula applies a one-size-fits-all factor of five to everyone. But Johns Hopkins researchers found that this often makes LDL cholesterol appear lower than it really is for some high-risk patients. The researchers sought a more accurate formula that would take into account specific details about a persons cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Using a database of blood lipid samples from more than 1.3 million Americansalmost 3,000 times larger than the one used to develop the Friedewald equation Johns Hopkins researchers developed a more accurate system for calculating LDL cholesterol. It can be used to make more precise decisions about treatment to prevent heart attack and stroke.
This newer LDL cholesterol formula is being adopted by U.S. laboratories as well as others around the world. The best implementation is direct coding the LDL cholesterol estimation in the lab IT system, which automates the process and saves clinicians time. The formula is also available as a mobile device app called the LDL Cholesterol Calculator. It is available on the iTunes App Store and on Google Play, for those whose lab hasnt adopted it.
Researchers hope the new formula will one day be adopted by all labs that process lipid panels, as it can improve patient care.
Cholesterol Chart For Adults
Your doctor may recommend a plan of treatment for high cholesterol that includes lifestyle modifications and potentially medication. This will vary based on factors like other medications you may be taking, your age, sex, and general health.
Here are some medications more commonly prescribed for high cholesterol:
- Statins.Statins lower the LDL cholesterol levels by slowing the production of cholesterol by the liver.
- Bile acid sequestrants.Bile acid sequestrants are substances used in digestion. These resins can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood by binding to bile acids and removing them, forcing the body to break down LDL cholesterol to create bile acids instead.
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors.Cholesterol absorption inhibitors can block the absorption of cholesterol from the diet, sometimes in conjunction with statins.
- Bempedoic acid.Bempedoic acid helps to stop an enzyme in the liver, ATP citrate lyase, from making cholesterol. This drug is often combined with statins for increased benefit for those with familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited condition that can cause early heart disease.
- PCSK9 inhibitors. Also used frequently with familial hypercholesterolemia, PCSK9 inhibitors, which are injected drugs, help the liver absorb and remove more LDL cholesterol from the blood.
Medications can also be used to treat contributing factors to cholesterol like triglycerides. These may be used in addition to some of the medications above.
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Reducing Ldl Cholesterol Levels
The liver produces enough cholesterol to meet all of the bodys needs. Any cholesterol a person consumes through food and drink is excess.
Changing the diet is an effective way to lower LDL cholesterol levels. Reducing the consumption of trans fats can be an important first step in bringing cholesterol levels down.
If a person consumes 2,000 calories per day, they should only take in 1113 grams of saturated fats per day.
Other dietary and lifestyle changes that can help people reach optimum cholesterol levels include:
- eating fewer full fat dairy products, such as whole milk, butter, cream, and cheeses
- eating less red meat, pork, lamb, and poultry with skin
- avoiding heavily processed foods
- exercising regularly
- addressing related medical conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure
Keeping a food diary can help a person identify room for improvement and develop healthier habits.
The following activities can boost a persons levels of HDL cholesterol:
- using oils with fewer trans fats, such as those from olives, sunflowers, canola, and corn
- eating more whole fruits and vegetables
- eating more whole grains and cereals
- replacing meat with plant-based protein sources, such as tofu and quinoa
- increasing their intake of dietary fiber
- drinking low fat milk or replacing milk with a dairy-free alternative
- getting regular exercise
What About Triglycerides
While doctors understand the cardiovascular risks posed by high triglycerides, these blood fats are still somewhat of a mystery. Triglycerides are fats made from calories that you consume but dont use right away for energy. Triglycerides are stored in fat cells, and when they are needed for energy, they are available. But if you consume a lot more calories than you burn, your triglyceride levels are going to rise.
High triglyceride levels are 200 mg/dL or higher. While its not entirely clear how high triglycerides might affect the health of your arteries , high levels are often associated with other risk factors strongly linked to higher heart attack risks. These include obesity, poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, and other problems.
Your triglyceride levels are usually checked along with your LDL and HDL levels. You may see on your lab report a figure called total cholesterol. That number is simply your LDL + HDL + half of your triglyceride level. A total cholesterol level of less than 200 mg/dL is considered desirable.
Some doctors say your cholesterol ratio is another helpful number. That ratio is your HDL divided into your total cholesterol. A healthy ratio is less than 3.5 to 1. A higher ratio means a higher heart attack risk.
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What Is High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is made by the liver and obtained through the diet. It can be found in the fats in your blood. High cholesterol is when you have high amounts of cholesterol in the blood.
Cholesterol is essential in order for your body to continue building healthy cells, however having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. This is because it can lead to a build-up of fatty deposits in your blood vessels, which overtime can make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries and consequently to your heart.
Cholesterol Numbers The Good The Bad & The Ugly
We get a lot of emails about cholesterol numbers, as many people are confused about what is considered healthy and what could potentially be a problem. This confusion is understandable though, as there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Even doctors who are supposed to be experts on this topic can also give you misleading information.
As a result millions of people end up taking cholesterol medication like Lipitor when they dont even have to be on it. Thats why its important to educate yourself as much as possible. You certainly dont want to be on a prescription medication that you dont have to be, especially for long periods of time.
So lets get into the numbers a little
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Cholesterol Level Charts Hdl And Ldl Cholesterol
Todays question is from Debbie and she asksCan you please explain and simplify the cholesterol numbers and charts?This is a good question because I think we should all know more about how our body works..
Can you please explain and simplify the cholesterol numbers and charts?
This is a good question because I think we should all know more about how our body works because nobody will care more about your health than you will.
Your Test Results: A Preview
Your test results will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood . Your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol are among numerous factors your doctor can use to predict your lifetime or 10-year risk for a heart attack or stroke. Your doctor will also consider other risk factors, such as age, family history, smoking status, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Lipid profile or lipid panel is a blood test that will give you results for your HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total blood cholesterol.
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